Super Meeting You

Published in the April 2011 Issue Published online: Apr 09, 2011

Last year I was on golf courses countless times, but only one time did I actually swing a golf club. It was the driving range at Canyon Springs Golf Course, down in Snake River Canyon, in Twin Falls, Idaho. It was early spring—early enough that we were still getting rain. The clouds were plenty threatening when we started, and finally delivered a downpour before I could finish my bucket of balls.

All those other times I visited golf courses in the last year, from here in Idaho to eastern and central Oregon to southern Nevada, it was to take pictures and meet superintendents, the unsung heroes of golf courses.

And I have to say it’s my pleasure. One of the changes we made to this magazine last issue include a new feature on superintendents called Super Spotlights. It’s similar to a Grower of the Month spotlight in the other magazine I edit, called Potato Grower magazine. For that magazine, I sit down with potato growers for about a half hour and interview them about their farm, when they started, what varieties they grow and some of their philosophies that stem from what they’ve learned as a grower.

I’ve found these features have helped me connect with growers individually. I find that the next time I bump into these growers at an industry meeting, I feel like I can seriously call them my friends, not just magazine readers or even merely acquaintances.

That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to start these Super Spotlights for Western Turf. So I can connect with each of you individually.

Having grown up on a potato farm, even before the snow melts things are getting hectic, so golfing was always out of the question. When things slowed down, I was fishing or waterskiing with my family. I never got into golfing until just a few years ago, but still I understand a little where golf course superintendents are coming from.

You get up extremely early—though much earlier than I’ve ever needed to get up—because work needs to be done early. While that hour is difficult for many, being outdoors makes it all worth it. Now and again you’re able to take a long enough respite to enjoy the fresh air and outdoor settings. And while what you do is to ultimately serve customers, you’re doing it by helping God’s creations to grow and thrive.

I’m looking forward to visiting more golf courses in more western states so I can meet more of you—the ones on the front lines of the courses.

In this issue, the Super Spotlight is actually a former logger from my hometown, who developed a course on the land he was logging as a career backup—which came in handy when the Forest Service shut down logging in the area.

Also in this issue, you’ll hear from our expert, Jim Myers of The Plateau Club, talk about verification. And Douglas Karcher, from the University of Arkansas, will give us the scoop on localized dry spots in sand-based soil.